If a negligent person causes a car crash or other type of accident, and you suffer an injury as a result, it’s obvious that you have the right to sue them to recover the costs of your medical bills, property damage and so forth. But often, things aren’t so cut and dry. You may have been at least a little bit responsible for the accident in some way or another. Does this mean that you lose your right to seek compensation in court?
Nevada’s comparative negligence law
In Nevada, a plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit) cannot recover anything if they were more at fault for their injury than all of the defendants (the parties that the plaintiff is suing) combined.
If the plaintiff is responsible for 50% or less of the accident, and if they win their lawsuit, then they can recover. The court will reduce the final recovery proportionately to the plaintiff’s percentage of liability for the accident.
What this means for you
If you bring a lawsuit for your injuries, the court will first determine how much responsibility you and each of the defendants have for the accident. If your portion of fault is less than the defendants’, then the case can proceed. Then, if you win, the court will reduce your total possible recovery according to your percentage of fault.
For example, if you were 25% at fault, and you win $100,000 in compensation, the court will reduce it by your 25%, and you will only be able to claim $75,000.
Comparative negligence might seem harsh, especially when you’re suffering from the aftermath of your accident. But compared to some other states, Nevada’s rule is very beneficial to victims of other people’s negligence. As long as you aren’t more at fault than they are, you still have the chance to recover the compensation that you need to get back on your feet after your injury.